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Fish Lake Township History

Fish Lake Township organized in 1868, having formerly been a part of Sunrise, is named for its lake in section 25 and the outflowing creek, both of which are translated from their Ojibwe names. The village of Fish Lake was located in the township about 1868.


STARK, a small village in section 26, of Fish Lake Township, was named in honor of Lars Johan Stark, who was the first postmaster there. He was born in Westergotland, Sweden, July 29, 1826, and died in Harris, Minn., May 5, 1910. He came to the United States in 1850 and settled at Chisago Lake, Minn., engaged in mercantile business and farming, and was a representative in the state legislature in 1865 and 1875. His son, Edward W. Stark, born in Fish Lake Township, December 5, 1869, was a merchant at Harris, 1890-1905; was a representative in the legislature in 1901-3, and was a judge of probate for this county after 1905. The village had a post office, 1868-1904.


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Edward Stark 1915

Edward Stark 1915

Son of early settler, Lars J Stark.

1940 Enumeration

1940 Enumeration

Fish Lake Lutheran Church

Fish Lake Lutheran Church

Edward Stark 1925

Edward Stark 1925

Son of Lars J Stark, 1st Postmaster

1914 Plat Map

In 1938 several ariel photos were taken of Fish Lake Township.  This slideshow shows just a few.  To see more photots, please visit John R. Borchart Map Library by clicking the linkbelow.

*Photos courtesy of the University of MN John R. Borchart Map Library

First Census of Fish Lake Township - 1875
History Books

History of the St. Croix Valley - Augustus Easton pub. 1909 excerpt from pg. 1207

Fish Lake Township contains some fine lakes, among which might be mentioned Horseshoe and Cedar lakes. The town was cut off from Sunrise and organized in 1868.  The first supervisors were Charles F. Stark, Benjamin Franklin and John A. Hokanson.  A postoffice was established is 1868, with Benjamin Franklin as postmaster.  The first settlers were Peter Olaf and Peter Bergland.  The first school was taught by Miss Mattison.  The first marriage was that of John Hokanson and Matilda Samuelson.  The first death was that of John Erickson.  In 1877 a murder was committed.  A man named Hosberg, a mill watchman, ordered a man name Priestly not to smoke on the mill premises, where upon Priestly slew him.  The Englishman was arrested, tried for murder and acquitted.  Among the well known men of the early days were Benjamin Franklin, whose real name was Ben Franz Norel, and Peter Berg.  To read the free ebook "History of the Saint Croix Valley, Vol. 2"  Click here or on the book cover.

Oscar Roos could claim the honor of having been, probably, the first Swedish settler not only in Chisago county, but in Minnesota. He was born in Vestergotland in 1827 and came to America in 1850, locating during the first summer at Rock Island, Illinois, but in the fall coming to Taylor's Falls.  In his company came, among others, Lars J. Stark, who later also settled in this county. On the advice of Rev. Unonius, in Chicago, Roos, together with two other young men, Fernstrdm and Sandahl, went to Minnesota. They arrived in Marine, Washington county, in October, 1850. During 1851-1852 Roos, with other newcomers, worked on the road which the United States government was then building from Mississippi to Lake Superior and which for quite a distance is running along the St. Croix river. This road was named the "Point Douglas and St. Louis River military road." Roos made his headquarters at Marine, working at timbering and logging until 1860, when he settled at Taylor's Falls, and was appointed postmaster at that place. In the same year he was elected register of deeds in Chisago county, which office he held for eight years. Those positions he kept until 1870, when he was appointed register of the United States Land Office at Taylor's Falls. He resigned that office in 1875 and was elected treasurer of Chisago county, an office he held for a number of years. The confidences thus bestowed upon him, by his fellow citizens, go to show, that he was not only well liked but also highly trusted. He later engaged in exchange, loaning money, selling land, etc., and had a branch office in Center City. He was married to Hanna Swanstrom in 1870. The colony in 1852 raised the first rye, barley and flax in the county.     To read the full ebook of "A HISTORY OF The Swedish-Americans of MINNESOTA"   Click here or the on book cover




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